I make Uilleann pipes full time, and am based in Bedford, England, UK.

I first discovered traditional Irish music in 1976, when at the age of 16 I met a guy who'd spent the summer working at a hotel in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare on the west coast of Ireland. He had bought himself a banjo and was learning reels and jigs, as soon as I heard the music, I was hooked. I started on guitar and bodhran, soon moved to the flute, and playing by ear, I learned the music playing in sessions mainly in London and Cambridge, inspired by the giants of the time, The Bothy Band with Paddy Keenan, Matt Molloy, and Tommy Peoples, and Planxty with Liam O'Flynn etc.

I went to Ireland for the first time in 1983, and while in the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna, I heard the pipes in the flesh for the first time. From the first moment I saw the piper close up, with both arms pumping, the chanter, drones, and regs all going at the same time, sounding like a magnificent kind of organ, I said to myself “I want to be able to do that”. The piper was Eugene Lambe, who I discovered was a pipemaker, and I ordered a practise set. They arrived 6 months later on March 17th (St Patrick's Day!) 1984, and after making contact with Billy Browne at the London Pipers Club, my journey into Uileann Piping had begun.

In 2000, I went to Ireland, this time to Dingle in County Kerry, to collect a new Full Set of Pipes from Cillian O'Briain. It was to be the start of a long term friendship. It is from Cillian that I learned reedmaking, bellows making, and how to make and tune a chanter. Skills, that combined with an interest in how things are made, a background in Art and Design, and Engineering and Manufacturing, an attention to detail, the ability to play the pipes, and a keen musical ear, enable me to be a pipemaker today.

I was a piper first, then a reedmaker, then a pipemaker.

When you order a set of pipes from me, you know I will make them, I will make the reeds that go into them, and I will tune and balance them by extensive play testing. I won't let them go until I've made the set into an instrument that I would be proud to own and play myself, with the aim that you'll feel the same way.


I make Uilleann Pipes, primarily Full Sets in the key of D, Half Sets in the key of C Natural, and chanters in the key of Eb.

The main timber I use is ebony. Ferrules, rings and end plugs can be made out of ebony to match, or of a complementary timber, such as english boxwood, rosewood or cherry, depending on availability.

All sets are made to order, and some details of the design can be modified to suit customer requirements, e.g. personal attributes (body size and shape), and playing style.

Chanters are available with up to four keys, to produce the notes C natural, F natural, G sharp, and B flat.

About the reeds

All the reeds in any set of pipes I make are handmade by me. I use Spanish cane from Medir. I make the staples (onto which the cane reed head is mounted) from brass and copper tube, and I make the bridles from copper. All components of the reeds are made by me from excellent quality raw materials. 

I reed up the chanter so it plays effortlessly in both octaves.

Regarding the volume of the pipes, I like to reed up a chanter so that if I were playing in my kitchen with a fiddle, box and bouzouki, the chanter would blend with, and be at a similar volume to, the other instruments, and not sit above or below them. If, however, you like your chanter reeded for a different playing situation, eg louder or softer, then this can be done too.

About the bags and bellows

I used to make bags and bellows when I first went into business as a pipemaker, but today I buy in the bag and bellows from a specialist supplier. This allows me to focus on my core skills of making the pipes and reeds, and the tuning and balancing of the instrument. However, I do make the bag fittings, e.g. neck stock, and inlet valve components.

Instruments available to order :-

Chanters in D, Eb and C natural

Practise Sets (bellows, bag and chanter) in D, Eb and C natural

Half Set (Practise plus drones) in D and C Natural

¾ or Full Set (Half set plus 2 or 3 regulators) in D

D Chanter - details :-

My chanter uses Cillian O’Briain’s model 7 reamers for the bore, with very similar mechanical design features, e.g. external diameter, keys, note holes scalloping etc, although I’ve modified note hole positions and scallop depths over the years as I felt necessary.

Eb chanter – details :-

Eb has always been popular in traditional Irish music, but seems to go in and out of fashion. However, in the last few years, I've noticed a number of musicians (not pipers) releasing albums in Eb, and it got me thinking that there wasn't anyone making an Eb chanter today. So I set about designing one, and I'm very pleased with the result. It takes it's design inspiration from my D chanter, ie scooped note holes, and a free and vibrant sound.

If you are using the Eb chanter with a D set, so you can sit in with an Eb session, it is possible (if the drones sliders are out on the pins and not pushed fully up) to push the sliders up so the Tenor and Baritone drones sound an Eb. However this is not possible with the bass drone, as it would have to push up a long way, so I also produce a shorter bass drone lower section which allows the bass drone to also sound an Eb.

C natural chanter – details :-

I've always liked C Natural as a key, and have always wondered what a chanter in C would be like that took it's design cues from my D chanter – scooped note holes, and a wide bore, rather than the more traditional narrow bore that is commonly seen. The result is a chanter that has a wonderful depth and colour to the sound, with a good strong tone, but which is not over loud. I'm very pleased with this one!

Chanter Stop Key

I make two versions of Stop Key for the chanter :-

Traditional type - with a long key down the front, activated with the index finger of the top hand.

Concealed type - this is very neat, where the valve is concealed in the chanter top, and is activated by twisting the top plug, a bit like turning a tap on and off.

Bass regulator options

Crook style, or Straight Bar. The default option (and my personal preference and recommendation) is the Crook style, as it has many benefits. The Straight Bar version is only available by special request. 

Please note ...

I'm constantly working to improve and fine tune every aspect of the instruments I make. As a result I therefore reserve the right to change the specification as I see fit, and features and design details of newly made instruments my differ slightly from those shown in the Gallery.

MOBILE : +44 (0) 7887 622 751